The University of Alabama
Center for Academic Success
All writers use certain techniques, some
to make the message clearer, some to sway your opinion. Recognizing a
writerís style will help you evaluate what you read.
Recognizing the writerís techniques:
The way the author picks words and puts them together. As Ella Fitzgerald
once said, "it ainít what you do; itís the way how you do
it." Authorís choices indicate their intended audience.
The attitude of the author toward the subject, usually expressed as
feelings, such as: respect, hate, anger, impatience, humor, irony,
State of mind or feeling at a particular time. The way you feel after
reading the authorís work.
The reason the author wrote, such as: to provide information, to
persuade the reader, to cause an
action, to promote an opinion, to amuse, to entertain, or to induce the reader to buy a product.
The way an authorís interests and beliefs influence the work.
Authorsí beliefs may cause their
work to be slanted, which means they do not provide an objective treatment of their topic.
Techniques of writing that twist the
truth use deceptive methods to press a special point of view. Authors who
twist the truth knowingly leave out or alter facts and use spurious
(untrustworthy, faulty) logic. An example of this type of writing is
propaganda. The point of view is biased, prejudiced, or slanted. The
author usually has made up his or her mind and canít be confused with
facts. You can spot propaganda by watching out for the following:
used for emotional effect: commie, pinko, liberal, John Bircher,
conservative, activist, Yankee.
2. Words with special connotations.
3. Try to
recognize the following methods of propaganda:
wording, general statements
cards (only the facts that agree with the author)
opposing view through negative names and words.